Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
EMBO J. 2003 Jun 16;22(12):2873-85.

Mechanisms of activation, inhibition and specificity: crystal structures of the NMDA receptor NR1 ligand-binding core.

Author information

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University, 650 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Excitatory neurotransmission mediated by the N-methyl-D-aspartate subtype of ionotropic glutamate receptors is fundamental to the development and function of the mammalian central nervous system. NMDA receptors require both glycine and glutamate for activation with NR1 and NR2 forming glycine and glutamate sites, respectively. Mechanisms to describe agonist and antagonist binding, and activation and desensitization of NMDA receptors have been hampered by the lack of high-resolution structures. Here, we describe the cocrystal structures of the NR1 S1S2 ligand-binding core with the agonists glycine and D-serine (DS), the partial agonist D-cycloserine (DCS) and the antagonist 5,7-dichlorokynurenic acid (DCKA). The cleft of the S1S2 'clamshell' is open in the presence of the antagonist DCKA and closed in the glycine, DS and DCS complexes. In addition, the NR1 S1S2 structure reveals the fold and interactions of loop 1, a cysteine-rich region implicated in intersubunit allostery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons


    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center